Monday, September 29, 2008
Who could be mad at that sweet little face? Um...I could and I am. But I will not strangle him. I just might ground him til he's 42...nope, then he'd still be living with me when I was...never mind.
Sunday, September 28, 2008
Okay, let me say how excited I am to have reached the New Testament. Not that I haven't loved the Old because I have. (and now I feel guilty for even implying that I might prefer one over the other.) But my heart has been singing all week at the thought of entering the days of my Saviour.
Oh, and one other random thought...there is a new chronological study Bible that just came out. It looks really cool! I was glancing through it and was immediately caught up in the historical notes and time lines and so forth. I am thinking about using it if I do this again next year.
Now, back to the business at hand. I don't think that I've ever had as many notes as I have over this week. So I am going to try and pick and choose the best of the best so to speak. (although we all know that all of the Word is the best...)
One of the more beautiful passages to me was the dedication of the wall of Jerusalem. I am a very visual person and I just have this wonderful picture in my head of the choirs gathering and the people rejoicing as songs of praise and thanksgiving are offered to God.
Many sacrifices were offered on that joyous day, for God had given the people cause for great joy. The women and children also participated in the celebration, and the joy of the people of Jerusalem could be heard far away. Nehemiah 12:43
Of course, in the very next chapter, we find Nehemiah coming back to Jerusalem and finding Judah committing some of the very same sins that caused God to punish them in the first place. To be perfectly honest, I just wanted to smack them. Don't they ever learn? Um...couldn't God ask me that very question as well? Don't I ever learn? I just spent Friday morning in conversation with a friend, lamenting how we never seem to learn...we keep repeating the same behaviors over and over. So how am I any better than Judah?
Rend your heart and not your garments. Return to the LORD your God, for he is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love, and he relents from sending calamity. Joel 2:13
Oh, how this verse spoke to me. Too many times I make changes on the outside rather than seeking to change the inside. Which may very well explain why I continue to fall into the same patterns over and over again. The Message says it this way: Change your life, not just your clothes. Come back to God, your God. What a beautiful thought. May we choose to change our lives through Him rather than just the outward appearance.
Then, this final admonition from Malachi before four hundred years of silence: If you do not listen, and if you do not set your heart to honor my name," says the LORD Almighty, "I will send a curse upon you, and I will curse your blessings. (Malachi 2:2) But for you who revere my name, the sun of righteousness will rise with healing in its wings. (Malachi 4:2)
A warning and a promise. One that went unheeded. One that still does go unheeded today.
Four hundred years later, we find God's chosen people waiting, longing for their Messiah. I don't know about you, but I loved revisiting the "Christmas" story. We are beginning to prepare for Christmas at our store and it does my heart good to focus on what it is really all about rather than trying to figure out where to put one more box of Christmas cards.
One thing that caught my heart in this section in Luke was something that could have come from my lips...."for the Mighty One has done great things for me--(Luke 1:49)". For me. That kind of says it all, doesn't it? This story...this whole Book is for me. "Praise be to the Lord, the God of Israel, because He has come and redeemed His people. Because of the tender mercy of our God, by which the rising sun will come to us from heaven to shine on those living in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the path of peace. Luke 1: 68,78-79)
Saturday, September 27, 2008
While she will never leave physical footprints on this earth, I suspect that Molly will leave eternal imprints on the hearts and minds of those who knew her and followed her story.
Molly Kathryn Mueller
July 30, 2008 - September 24, 2008
Friday, September 26, 2008
Thursday, September 25, 2008
Oh, an update on the makeup thing...Jonathan informed me last night that he needed a "hand held mirror thing" for his Drama Tech class. My thought on this is that perhaps having his own mirror might improve his skills at applying makeup and therefore improve his grade. I'm not sure that I want to give him a "hand held mirror thing." Sigh.
Wednesday, September 24, 2008
Monday, September 22, 2008
Those priorities are: God, husband, children, home, me, outside activities.
As an activity, Linda asked us to evaluate what percentage we thought we spent in each of the six areas this past week. (I will not be revealing my score. Needless to say, I am ashamed of my percentages.)
Sunday, September 21, 2008
I will confess to being a little out of sorts this past week. There have been many many different things going on here including (but not limited to) a major power outage. It's amazing how being "out of pocket" can destroy your concentration and routine. So...for the rest of you that do Cover to Cover...my expectations are high for you to fill me in on whatever I've been too distracted to see. (no pressure!)
There is this one thing though. And it ties rather neatly into my week. Or maybe it would be better to say that it convicted me about my week.
I was fascinated at the number of times Ezra and Nehemiah referenced "the hand of the LORD was on them." And to be perfectly honest, a little bit jealous as well. I want the Hand of the LORD on me as I go about my day. Then I noticed this:
This was because Ezra had determined to study and obey the Law of the Lord and to teach those decrees and regulations to the people of Israel. Ezra 7:10
I bet Ezra didn't get out of sorts when things weren't quite ordinary. I'm pretty sure that he didn't allow life to distract him from his task at hand, which was to "study and obey the Law of the Lord." So just perhaps the next time life throws me a curve ball, hopefully I will grab ahold of His Hand, and allow Him to lead me along the path.
You're blessed when you stay on course, walking steadily on the road revealed by God. You're blessed when you follow his directions, doing your best to find him. That's right—you don't go off on your own; you walk straight along the road he set. You, God, prescribed the right way to live; now you expect us to live it. Oh, that my steps might be steady, keeping to the course you set; Then I'd never have any regrets in comparing my life with your counsel. I thank you for speaking straight from your heart; I learn the pattern of your righteous ways. I'm going to do what you tell me to do; don't ever walk off and leave me. Psalm 119:1-8
Friday, September 19, 2008
Thursday, September 18, 2008
Tuesday, September 16, 2008
Saturday, September 13, 2008
1. Write about 5 specific ways blogging has affected you, either positively or negatively.
2. link back to the person who tagged you
3. link back to this parent post
4. tag a few friends or five, or none at all
5. post these rules— or just have fun breaking them.
1. Blogging has helped inspire me to be the woman God created me to be. (It's hard to keep saying that it's impossible to be that woman when I see so many living examples here in blogdom.)
2. Blogging has helped hold me accountable in different areas of my life. When I blog about doing something, you'd better believe that somebody asks me if I have.
3. Oh my, how I have been challenged as I have read others blogs. I like to think that this has been reflected in the kind of blogger that I have become. You make me think. And when I think, I write about it. (I know it doesn't always seem like I am thinking, but trust me...I am. )
4. Blogging sucks time out of the air. I always think that I can finish up a post in just a few minutes. I blink, look at the clock, and a half an hour or more has passed. I have had to be more careful with time.
I actually received this tag the same day I received an email that demonstrates the most important way blogging has affected me.
I began my serious blog reading sometime in December. In January or February, a blog that I was reading led me to the blog of a woman whose young daughter had just drowned in a swimming pool. The woman has such a beautiful spirit, even during such a difficult time. I referenced her blog one time some months ago. Then, early this summer, I met a lady through a blog that led to her asking me to join her in a bible study over the summer. Unbeknownst to me, she had been reading my blog for a few months. For "some" reason, she saw the one reference to Sumi's blog. My new friend, Cheri, just "happens" to be a part of a bible study with a lady in our church whose daughter(who was also three years old) drowned several years earlier. Cheri mentioned Sumi to Debi and Debi contacted her. Now they have corresponded and as Cheri says, there is a "friendship blossoming between two grieving mothers." This is what blogging does for me. It sometimes shows me how the Hand of God works behind the scenes to orchestrate things for His Glory. I cannot tell you how many times one of your blogs has touched my heart in just the right way at just the right moment. And I know that's the Hand of God. What a beautiful thing.
Now to the tagging part. I'm not very good at this part either. I know I have read this particular meme on some of your blogs already but my memory for meme is not so good. So, if I tag you and you've already done this, please feel free to ignore it. If I tag you and you don't want to play, please feel free to ignore it as well. If I don't tag you and you still don't want to play, well, you may also ignore it. But if you do want to play and I don't tag you, don't think it's because I don't want you to play. That's not true! Play! Have fun! (and let me know that you decided to join in!)
Annette & Annette (because they are both number one to me! And you can never have too many Annettes.) Oh, and please pray for both of them because Ike is picking on them today.
Ang-who has the sweetest heart....
Jessi-my baby...I'm so proud...
Lori-because she's making me do homework...no, really because she is a wonderful writer and I think she mentioned something about this months ago.
Friday, September 12, 2008
Thursday, September 11, 2008
Wednesday, September 10, 2008
Tuesday, September 9, 2008
Monday, September 8, 2008
We started this week by finishing Ezekiel and moving into Daniel. I have mixed feeling about leaving Ezekiel. On the one hand, I find him utterly fascinating. What a life of obedience and faith. Such dedication to the Lord. However, I really struggled with his visions sometimes and the whole cubit thing about drove me crazy. I am not a math kind of girl. But I will miss him and he is now on my list of people to sit down with some day.
I love revisiting old stories and finding a fresh word. I don't know how many times I pass over something because I "know" it and think that it holds nothing new for me. (Or how many times I tune somebody out because I know what they are going to say or close my eyes to the scenery in front of me because I've seen it all before. How much do I miss?) Anyhow, we read the story of Daniel and the lions den this week. So I am be bopping along, reading and halfway paying attention because after all, this is a children's Sunday school story...isn't it? The administrators are jealous and working hard to set Daniel up and Daniel hears the new decree and what does he do? He goes to his room where the windows are open toward Jerusalem and gives thanks to God "just as he had done before." (Daniel 6:10) Trouble comes and Daniel does what he always does. Gets down on his knees and prays. However, this is not the only thing that caught my attention. Not only does Daniel stay the same (character-who you are when no one is looking), the administrators knew he would be on his knees and praying. They found him exactly where they thought they would. On his knees, praying.
Oh, how this speaks to me.
Where would they expect to find us in times of trouble? Or in times of joy?
And more importantly, would you find us there?
"If you'll hold on to me for dear life," says God, "I'll get you out of any trouble. I'll give you the best of care if you'll only get to know and trust me. Call me and I'll answer, be at your side in bad times; I'll rescue you, then throw you a party. I'll give you a long life, give you a long drink of salvation!" Psalm 91:14-16
Friday, September 5, 2008
The hunt for the next American Idol will be taking place at Churchill Downs this weekend.
It's safe to say that I won't be participating in the festivities (because we all know I can't sing) but for those of you who are Idol fans...welcome to the 'ville!
Wednesday, September 3, 2008
Because of the nature of my job, I have about decided that I will not be taking a "structured" bible study this fall. Since any type of retail tends to explode during the fall months, I am afraid that my brains will be leaking out my ears come November. (Which is really sad because church is offering some great choices.)
I am still working through Donna Partow's Becoming the Woman God Wants Me to Be. It's a 90 day study so it will carry me into the fall. It isn't too time demanding so I think I can make it work. (I was posting about it somewhere else and accidentally said it was a 900 day study. I might actually begin to look more like the Proverbs 31 lady if I study for 900 days!)
Anyhow, Lori is going to be doing Creative Counterpart in blogdom so I thought I would join her as well. For some reason, I didn't realize that this was also a study on the Proverbs 31 lady. Sigh. By golly, I'd better be close to perfect by the time I finish all this! And I think we are going to discuss what we've learned on Tuesdays. So you can offer pointers then. I'm sure I could use them!
So...my whole point to this was...are you doing a bible study this fall? Are your fall's as busy as mine? Do you think you'll have time to complete a study? Inquiring minds want to know...
Tuesday, September 2, 2008
Monday, September 1, 2008
Over the past weeks and months that I have been reading chronologically and participating in cover to cover I've developed a system for making notes and pulling my thoughts together. It's not a sophisticated system but it works for me. As I read, if I find something that speaks to me, I put a small numbered post it note on that page. This is particularly useful for me as we tend to jump around as we read and the numbered system helps me to see when I read what.
The thing that jumped out at me this week came from Ezekiel 39. We have been reading so much about the destruction that God will be bringing to Israel and the suffering that they will endure. As I read Ezekiel 39:28-29 I realized that while this punishment was for Israel's own good (and mine as well), God continues to show His great love for His people. He leaves them with a promise that after the punishment has been endured, "for though I sent them into exile among the nations, I will gather them to their own land, not leaving any behind. I will no longer hide my face from them, for I will pour out my Spirit on the house of Israel, declares the Sovereign LORD."
I then went back to see what else I had marked for the week (because my mind is full of butterflies that flit from thing to thing) and this is what I discovered:
"For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more." Jeremiah 31:34b
'For this is what the Sovereign LORD says: I myself will search for my sheep and look after them.' Ezekiel 34:11
...the people will be secure in their land. They will know that I am the LORD, when I break the bars of their yoke and rescue them from the hands of those who enslaved them. Ezekiel 34:27b
I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean; I will cleanse you from all your impurities and from all your idols. I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws. Ezekiel 36:25-27
...for I will save them from all their sinful backsliding, and I will cleanse them. They will be my people, and I will be their God. Ezekiel 37:23b
I will make a covenant of peace with them; it will be an everlasting covenant. I will establish them and increase their numbers, and I will put my sanctuary among them forever. Ezekiel 37:26
So, do you see any theme here? I love the thought of God's forgiveness and the thought that He is waiting to welcome them home. Join us at Bev's this week for a recap of this weeks readings.
And I myself will be the shepherd of my sheep. I myself will make sure they get plenty of rest. I'll go after the lost, I'll collect the strays, I'll doctor the injured, I'll build up the weak ones and oversee the strong ones so they're not exploited. Ezekiel 34:11